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Baker, Mohammad A. Abu; Emerson, Sara E.; Brown, Joel S. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
We present a practical field exercise for ecology and animal behavior classes that can be carried out on campus, using urban wildlife. Students document an animal's feeding behavior to study its interactions with the surrounding environment. In this approach, an animal's feeding behavior is quantified at experimental food patches placed within its…
Descriptors: Biology, Ecology, Animal Behavior, Statistical Analysis
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Bland, Mark W.; Morrison, Elizabeth – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Evolution is widely regarded as biology's unifying theme, yet rates of rejection of evolutionary science remain high. Anecdotal evidence suggests that cognitive dissonance leading to an emotional response is a barrier to learning about and accepting evolution. We explored the hypothesis that students whose worldviews may be inconsistent with the…
Descriptors: Biology, Emotional Response, Evolution, Science Instruction
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Zanin, Mary K. B. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Over the years, many of my students have reported that they enjoy lectures that include short, simple animations. To keep students engaged, I have developed a small set of teaching animations using PowerPoint and Camtasia Studio software packages. A survey of students who learned four difficult topics with traditional written lessons and with…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Biology, Cytology, Animation
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Nash, Troy R.; Yang, Suann; Inman, John C. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
We describe an alternative to the kinds of observation-based lab exercises that are often used to cover animal and plant evolution with respect to transitioning from aquatic to terrestrial habitats. We wrote this activity to address these objectives, but also to model the process of scientific inquiry and to require students to collect and analyze…
Descriptors: Science Activities, Evolution, Botany, Animals
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Countryman, Lyn L.; Maroo, Jill D. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Considerable anecdotal evidence indicates that some of the most difficult concepts that both high school and undergraduate elementary-education students struggle with are those surrounding evolutionary principles, especially speciation. It's no wonder that entry-level biology students are confused, when biologists have multiple definitions of…
Descriptors: Secondary School Science, College Science, Evolution, Scientific Principles
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Aydin, Serap Öz – American Biology Teacher, 2015
For many students, preconceived notions about Darwin are among the most significant obstacles in learning about the theory of evolution by natural selection. I present an activity designed to eliminate this obstacle and encourage empathizing with Darwin, utilizing the history-of-science approach. Through the activity, students' negative thoughts…
Descriptors: Scientific Concepts, Scientific Literacy, Scientific Principles, Evolution
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Carter, B. Elijah; Infanti, Lynn M.; Wiles, Jason R. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Students who enter college with a solid grounding in, and positive attitudes toward, evolutionary science are better prepared for and achieve at higher levels in university-level biology courses. We found highly significant, positive relationships between student knowledge of evolution and attitudes toward evolution, as well as between…
Descriptors: Student Attitudes, Evolution, College Science, Scientific Literacy
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Garcia, Rebecca; Rahman, Alvina; Klein, Janette Gomos – American Biology Teacher, 2015
We designed a human biology course that interests nonmajors while improving science literacy through student engagement, using a constructivist-inspired, topic-centered approach. This way of learning highlights common diseases that provide a basis to incorporate specific biological concepts. The topic-centered approach triggers interest and…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, College Science, Nonmajors, Undergraduate Students
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Firooznia, Fardad – American Biology Teacher, 2015
I describe and evaluate a fun and simple role-playing exercise that allows students to actively work through the process of translation. This exercise can easily be completed during a 50-minute class period, with time to review the steps and contemplate complications such as the effects of various types of mutations.
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Role Playing, Teaching Methods, Genetics
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Pecor, Keith W.; Lake, Ellen C.; Wund, Matthew A. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Optimal foraging theory attempts to explain the foraging patterns observed in animals, including their choice of particular food items and foraging locations. We describe three experiments designed to test hypotheses about food choice and foraging habitat preference using bird feeders. These experiments can be used alone or in combination and can…
Descriptors: Animals, Food, Ecology, Science Experiments
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Casady, Grant M. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Undergraduate biology labs often explore the techniques of data collection but neglect the statistical framework necessary to express findings. Students can be confused about how to use their statistical knowledge to address specific biological questions. Growth in the area of observational ecology requires that students gain experience in…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, College Science, Undergraduate Study, Biology
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McCabe, Declan J. – American Biology Teacher, 2014
This exercise demonstrates the principle of parsimony in constructing cladograms. Although it is designed using mammalian cranial characters, the activity could be adapted for characters from any group of organisms. Students score categorical traits on skulls and record the data in a spreadsheet. Using the Mesquite software package, students…
Descriptors: Science Activities, Science Laboratories, Biology, Evolution
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Galloway, Katelyn; Anderson, Nadja – American Biology Teacher, 2014
"Cootie Genetics" is a hands-on, inquiry-based activity that enables students to learn the Mendelian laws of inheritance and gain an understanding of genetics principles and terminology. The activity begins with two true-breeding Cooties of the same species that exhibit five observable trait differences. Students observe the retention or…
Descriptors: Genetics, Simulation, Hands on Science, Inquiry
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Bowling, Bethany; Zimmer, Erin; Pyatt, Robert E. – American Biology Teacher, 2014
Although the development of next-generation (NextGen) sequencing technologies has revolutionized genomic research and medicine, the incorporation of these topics into the classroom is challenging, given an implied high degree of technical complexity. We developed an easy-to-implement, interactive classroom activity investigating the similarities…
Descriptors: Molecular Biology, Class Activities, Teaching Methods, Educational Practices
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Ratcliff, William C.; Raney, Allison; Westreich, Sam; Cotner, Sehoya – American Biology Teacher, 2014
The evolution of complexity remains one of the most challenging topics in biology to teach effectively. We present a novel laboratory activity, modeled on a recent experimental breakthrough, in which students experimentally evolve simple multicellularity using single-celled yeast ("Saccharomyces cerevisiae"). By simply selecting for…
Descriptors: Evolution, Biology, Science Activities, Science Laboratories
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